— Robert G. Ingersoll Union United States Army officer 1833 - 1899
Rome, or Reason? A Reply to Cardinal Manning. Part I. The North American Review (1888)
Contesto: "Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith." It is not necessary, before all things, that he be good, honest, merciful, charitable and just. Creed is more important than conduct. The most important of all things is, that he hold the Catholic faith. There were thousands of years during which it was not necessary to hold that faith, because that faith did not exist; and yet during that time the virtues were just as important as now, just as important as they ever can be. Millions of the noblest of the human race never heard of this creed. Millions of the bravest and best have heard of it, examined, and rejected it. Millions of the most infamous have believed it, and because of their belief, or notwithstanding their belief, have murdered millions of their fellows. We know that men can be, have been, and are just as wicked with it as without it.